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Old February 10 2012, 03:55 PM   #1
Alienesse
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Why I Love Enterprise

I thought I'd share with you the main reasons why I love Enterprise. I'll try not to make this too lengthy. In no particular order (numbering is there just to keep track), they are:

1. The realism of the decor and uniforms, bridging the gap between our real world and the fictional Star Trek universe. I love the look of the ship and especially the more rugged interiors. In comparison to the other Enterprises, the colors of the NX-01 are darker, the living quarters and hallways are more cramped, there's less lighting if I'm not mistaken, everything is less comfy and more utilitarian. I especially like the scene in "Broken Bow" where we see Malcolm and Travis walking past a guy still working on a bulkhead, and Archer always bowing so as not to hit his head on the beams going across the ceiling of his ready room. I also appreciate the NASA-like uniforms and the more military-looking of higher-ranking officials like Admiral Forrest.

2. Shirtless Archer & Shirtless Trip.

3. The friendships: the preexisting best buddy relationship between Archer and Tucker, and the developing archetype of Vulcan first officer / Human captain pairing.

4. The bits of in-universe history: the re(e)d alert, the UT, the beginnings of the warp program, the formation of the Federation, first contact with Andorians, the initially rocky relations with the Vulcans, the making of the first Captain, the insight into Vulcan society.

5. The excellent production values: beautiful designs, great colors and lighting, some very good scores.

6. Pretty neat space battles.

8. Finally seeing Vulcan starships and a lot of Vulcan itself.

7. Trip's Southern accent and humor.

9. Hoshi - a linguist in space, thus confirming that there will be a place for me when the Enterprise sails out.

10. The Andorian stories and most of all, Commander Shran.

11. The grit and drama of the Xindi arc, and especially the way that experience transforms Archer from wide-eyed, naive explorer to a tough, battle-tested commander, and T'Pol from an apparently classical, restrained Vulcan to an imperfect, conflicted Vulcan.

12. Soval and the way his relationship with Archer evolves towards genuine partnership.

13. Admiral Forrest as a balanced authority figure: effectively communicating Starfleet's orders to Archer, but also trying to understand and accommodate Archer's point of view as "the one who is out there".

14. The mirror episodes, with their TOS revival extravaganza.

What are yours?
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Old February 10 2012, 04:14 PM   #2
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Re: Why I Love Enterprise

I did like the overall 'look' of the series I'll give you that - the submarine-like interiors and jumpsuit uniforms were good, although they could've made a tad more effort in disguising all the off-the-shelf flatscreen monitors they were using.
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Old February 10 2012, 04:22 PM   #3
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Re: Why I Love Enterprise

Sandoval wrote: View Post
although they could've made a tad more effort in disguising all the off-the-shelf flatscreen monitors they were using.
I actually liked those! It's a nice feeling to go, 'Oh, look! I have that too!' when you watch a Star Trek episode.
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Old February 10 2012, 04:41 PM   #4
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Re: Why I Love Enterprise

I liked the seamless blend of (for us) modern day stuff and semi-futuristic stuff. Like, Archer still reads paper books, they ate real food cooked in a kitchen, and they repaired the ship with blowtorches. On the other hand, they used padds (pre-cursor to the iPad), had a transporter (which was unreliable (and they were afraid of it!), and shuttle pods (which were like little Nascar hot rods in space, really fast but hard to control).

Their uniforms had zippers and pockets and layers. They had winter gear.

They acknowledged crew deaths. One of my favorite moments (a beat, really) is Archer looking at the draped body of a fallen crewmember in Azati Prime or maybe Damage. In TOS, crew deaths were almost a shrug -- leading to the "red shirt" cliche.
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Old February 10 2012, 08:15 PM   #5
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Re: Why I Love Enterprise

Great thread! Folks, in the spirit of the OP, let's keep this an appreciation thread. If you want to list your reasons you hate Enterprise, you're welcome to start a different thread.


A few more reasons I loved the show:

Downtime, like Archer and Trip watching a water polo match over pretzels and beer. Or Phlox and Hoshi taking a walk after a dinner out in "Affliction."

The Big Three eating in the Captain's mess ("Countdown" comes readily to mind, with Archer tossing scraps to Porthos).

When the ship got messed up, it wasn't magically repaired by the beginning of the next episode. Especially true after "Azati Prime," when the ship's damage, casualties, even the lack of hot meals had to be dealt with for the remainder of Season 3.

The light, goofy moments between characters in Season 4. In "Babel One," Hoshi teaching Archer how to insult like a Tellarate, and Archer practicing later on a mystified Trip during the buffet scene as T'Pol looked on. "When in Rome!"

The captain had his beloved dog with him, like many a sea captain before him.

Bathrooms. (And no facilities on the shuttle.) Showers with water. Real alcohol. Grime. No holodeck -- instead, pickup basketball in the shuttle bay.

Phlox's living, squeaking menagerie of alternative medicine.
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Old February 11 2012, 12:13 AM   #6
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Re: Why I Love Enterprise

I can watch enterprise if I think of it as an "interpretation", IMHO, it really fails as a prequel. I never truly felt, while watching that the tech they used was "older" or "less advanced". I just felt a little too much like "the next generation" to me. If I view it as a stand alone show, it's not too bad.
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Old February 11 2012, 12:19 AM   #7
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Re: Why I Love Enterprise

^I dunno, I really liked how, when the mirror crew boarded the Defiant, they were in awe of how futuristic it all was. They passed off old TOS sets as super advanced technology-meets-art. I loved that element.
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Old February 11 2012, 01:05 AM   #8
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Re: Why I Love Enterprise

Why I love Enterprise:

1. Connor Trinneer: A versatile actor, who can handle humor and drama.
2. Scott Bakula: He got off to a rough start, but finally got his space legs in season three.
3. Shran & Soval.
4. The NX-01 is rough-hewn; no luxuries. Cramped quarters.
5. No super-advanced technology.
6. Porthos.
7. A season-long mission: I thought it was pretty gutsy.
8. The humor.
9. The MU episodes.
10. Season 4.
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Old February 11 2012, 01:17 AM   #9
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Re: Why I Love Enterprise

I LOVE THIS THREAD.

Trying not to repeat here, though the OP already lists two of my favorite things which are the NX-01 design and Soval.

1. The scene in Broken Bow where Trip thinks the alien child is being mistreated until T'Pol tells him the child is being weaned. This really showed how Starfleet picked its best crew based on their skill set not necessarily their understanding of alien cultures. I suspect Hoshi would have had a more socially scientific mind and wondered what was going on rather than jumping to conclusions but her job was other cultures. The dumbness of the ENT crew in regards to non-humans can be grating at times after years of the rest of Trek but it makes perfect sense.

2. Reed. I've grown to appreciate Reed and his almost creepy infatuation with armaments, his repressed uber-introversion, his passionate patriotism that lead him to Section 31. I think he's a very well developed character though he doesn't immediately stand out because it's all internal characteristics.

3. T'Pol. There are clues through the whole series that T'Pol is a vulnerable Vulcan who struggles more than most. She can be super Vulcan on the human ship because they never see her flaws, just her logical Vulcan exterior. She's on a crash course to a breakdown, eventually giving in to her failure to suppress her emotions. This is pretty interesting as Vulcans like to present themselves as high achievers of their own values and yet of course there must be some who find it far more difficult than others.

4. The double and triple story arcs in Season 4. Some of the best ever Trek IMHO.

5. The Temporal Cold War. Loved this story line which was in perfect keeping with Voyager episodes which showed future federation agents playing with people and events to tweak and protect the time line. Once you have this as a given ability in the future of course there will be many cold wars and machinations behind the scenes. I like the idea that it is organizations doing the temporal dicking around and not just mad men like Soran. I also think it really works that we never see how the TCW turns out, why would we? Stuff happened.. Archer participated in it.. for good or ill or somewhere in between we will never know for sure.

I really liked seeing glimpses of the future far ahead of the 24th century. Daniels was also a great character.
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Old February 11 2012, 01:21 AM   #10
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Re: Why I Love Enterprise

It was more like TOS than TNG or VOY. That alone made it worthwhile.
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Old February 11 2012, 01:27 AM   #11
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Re: Why I Love Enterprise

I'll come back to this with more detail (and I agree with much of what has been said so far). My appreciation of Reed has really grown over the years. He has layers that a lot of other Trek characters don't seem to have.

Things are messy (not just with him), and things do not work out perfectly. There are few reset buttons on the show. Consequences, what a concept.
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Old February 11 2012, 08:55 AM   #12
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Re: Why I Love Enterprise

Why I love the show....

10.) Season 4 - The best season of televised Trek ever, IMHO. DS9 Season 6 gives it a run for its money, but the multiple two and three part episodes are simply too amazing. And, of course, all the fanwank. A lot of people don't seem to like how the show really layered it on during this season, but I absolutely LOVED every bit of it. From the mention Vulcan inner eyelids to the shout-out to the Hurq invasion of the Klingon homeworld, it was all fantastic. After all, in a prequel series, isn't that what people were expecting from the get-go?

9.) The realistic uniforms and design - Alienesse already went into what all I love about this.

8.) T'Pol in her white desert uniform -

7.) T'Pol and Hoshi in the decon chamber - Sue me, I'm a man.

6.) ENT > VOY - As far as I'm concerned, ENT was VOY done right. Even in the first two seasons, there's better internal continuity, less technobabble and more enjoyable characters. When the show shifted and moved into more DS9-style serialization in Season Three, it only got better in my opinion. And Season Four simply blew me away with how good it was.

5.) Archer - I liked him from the beginning. I loved how he was a much more flawed character than any of the other captains. A lot of people complain about that, but I say "what did you expect?" Earth was just starting out in interstellar affairs and it's not fair to judge the man who goes first against men and women who come after him and can learn from his mistakes. Even the antics of A Night in Sickbay were understandable for me - he's new to this, he's completely unprepared for the realities he has to face.

I've seen two analyses of Archer that I thought were good descriptions of him....

I.) Kirk is the "action hero." He's the one who gets in fights and has a lot of physicality. Picard is the "thinking hero." He's the one who uses his mind to win at any challenge. Sisko is the "emotional hero." He's the kind of person who will let his emotions control him, for better or worse. Janeway is the "anti-hero." She's the kind of person who is willing to break the rules and do some very, very questionable things, but we forgive her anyway because we *almost* always agree with her decisions. Archer is the "tragic hero." He's a man who is unable to rise to the challenges he faces, try as he might and has to rely on others to help him (notably Trip and T'Pol, but to a lesser extent the rest of his crew.)

II.) He's sort of like the American Founding Fathers. Let's take probably the best known Founding Father for comparison - George Washington. Washington is today revered as the man who won the American Revolution. However, if you look at the actual historical facts, he wasn't that much of a military commander. His first military command, in the British Army, was such a resounding failure that it helped start the French and Indian War. During the Revolution, he only won three battles over the course of years and years (one of which he only won because of the element of surprise and another only because the French navy helped him tremendously). He was constantly outmatched, outperformed and outmaneuvered. Yet, his legend has grown ever since the end of the Revolution.

That's similar to what they were trying to do with Archer, in my opinion. They wanted to show that he was a Founding Father of the Federation, but that he wasn't a god among men - he was flawed, deeply, as both a military commander and as a diplomat. That makes a lot of sense to me and I greatly appreciate it. After all, I greatly respect many of the American Founding Fathers, even though they were also deeply flawed men - most of the ones I admire owned slaves, for crying out loud!

4.) T'Pol - An very fascinating character. Her decision to join the Humans even though no Vulcan had ever spent any significant amount of time with them, just so she could hide her own Vulcan shortcomings is very good character stuff, IMO. Just like I love Archer for not being like Kirk or Picard, I love T'Pol for not being like Spock.

And, I thought Jolene Blalock did an outstanding job in the role. It is true that I've seen her in some other works and she's been abominably bad, bad, bad in them. But, for whatever reason, I thought she nailed the role of T'Pol perfectly - almost as if it were custom-made for her.

3.) Andorians - One of my biggest pet peeves about Trek in general is that Rick Berman was so adamant that Andorians not be used. They're a very intriguing race I would have loved to see much more of them. Thankfully the make-up people were able to convince him to let them be on ENT.

2.) Tellarites - As much as I love Andorians, I love Tellarites even more. I find them even more intriguing and would have adored being able to explore their culture as much as we explored the Andorian one.

1.) Shran - What needs to be said? This is Jeffrey Combs' Trek Magnum Opus, IMHO.
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Old February 11 2012, 01:41 PM   #13
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Re: Why I Love Enterprise

bluedana wrote: View Post
I liked the seamless blend of (for us) modern day stuff and semi-futuristic stuff. Like, Archer still reads paper books, they ate real food cooked in a kitchen, and they repaired the ship with blowtorches. On the other hand, they used padds (pre-cursor to the iPad), had a transporter (which was unreliable (and they were afraid of it!), and shuttle pods (which were like little Nascar hot rods in space, really fast but hard to control).

Their uniforms had zippers and pockets and layers. They had winter gear.

They acknowledged crew deaths. One of my favorite moments (a beat, really) is Archer looking at the draped body of a fallen crewmember in Azati Prime or maybe Damage. In TOS, crew deaths were almost a shrug -- leading to the "red shirt" cliche.
Absolutely agreed with all that. I think it's safe to say that realism was one of ENT's main strengths. I loved that and I thought it was the right direction to go into with a prequel series. I actually wanted to see what things had been like in the beginning. But is it possible that some people didn't appreciate that? Maybe going back to the roots didn't sit well with everybody.

HopefulRomantic wrote: View Post
Downtime, like Archer and Trip watching a water polo match over pretzels and beer. Or Phlox and Hoshi taking a walk after a dinner out in "Affliction."
Yes! I appreciated that too. It was great seeing the crew unwind, especially because they did normal, unpretentious things we can relate to, as opposed to Picard painting an eclectic mess, or Janeway shooting the breeze with Leonardo da Vinci.

HopefulRomantic wrote: View Post
The Big Three eating in the Captain's mess ("Countdown" comes readily to mind, with Archer tossing scraps to Porthos).
Oh, the dinners in the Captain's Mess! A very nice touch and a very good medium for character interactions of a more personal kind. One of my favorites is the uncomfortable and failed breakfast between Archer and Reed.

HopefulRomantic wrote: View Post
When the ship got messed up, it wasn't magically repaired by the beginning of the next episode. Especially true after "Azati Prime," when the ship's damage, casualties, even the lack of hot meals had to be dealt with for the remainder of Season 3.
Yes! Most of the other series are greatly lacking in showing us a believable picture on the consequences of a serious space battle. A nice example is TNG's "Yesterday's Enterprise", and DS9 treated that theme a little more closely, but I don't think we've ever seen something as gritty and powerful as ENT's season 3.

teacake wrote: View Post
I LOVE THIS THREAD.
I'm afraid I can't take credit for the idea, since I borrowed it from the STL board. I'm really glad it's such a hit though.

teacake wrote: View Post
2. Reed. I've grown to appreciate Reed and his almost creepy infatuation with armaments, his repressed uber-introversion, his passionate patriotism that lead him to Section 31. I think he's a very well developed character though he doesn't immediately stand out because it's all internal characteristics.
I also love Reed because he's a lot like me. I can relate to his introversion and sterner view of the relationship between officers.

Admiral Shran wrote: View Post
10.) Season 4 - The best season of televised Trek ever, IMHO. DS9 Season 6 gives it a run for its money, but the multiple two and three part episodes are simply too amazing. And, of course, all the fanwank. A lot of people don't seem to like how the show really layered it on during this season, but I absolutely LOVED every bit of it. From the mention Vulcan inner eyelids to the shout-out to the Hurq invasion of the Klingon homeworld, it was all fantastic. After all, in a prequel series, isn't that what people were expecting from the get-go?
Absolutely! I am really pissed that the show didn't go on to a fifth season. It was just getting good, and had it continued, I'm sure we would have seen more of that good stuff.

Admiral Shran wrote: View Post
8.) T'Pol in her white desert uniform -
7.) T'Pol and Hoshi in the decon chamber - Sue me, I'm a man.
You're completely entitled, Admiral! Besides, I'd be one to put you down for that, with my adoration of Archer inside or outside of his tight uniform.

I love what you said about Archer, too.
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Old February 11 2012, 02:55 PM   #14
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Re: Why I Love Enterprise

Back with more thoughts.

The MACOs – they needed help, and they called in the Marines. And then there was (understandable) tension between the crew (Security and Reed, in particular) versus the new guys (mostly Hayes). They didn't all get along seamlessly, or work together perfectly. Gee, that's kinda like real life.

The draped body of a crew member was in Anomaly (Mr. j and I just rewatched it this week). In that episode, Archer very nearly kills an Ossarian pirate in a decompressing airlock. And you realize - Archer is getting messed up and he is passing a point of no return. Just like the ship has passed through the thermobaric clouds (in The Expanse), Archer has crossed a Rubicon of sorts. He isn't Mr. Happy-go-lucky explorer - he's on a grim mission and he realizes (as Tucker realizes, in The Xindi, I think) that this might just be a one-way ticket. You're left at the end of that episode wondering just what the anomaly is. Sure, it's the actual spatial anomaly, but it's also his behavior. So, which is the real Archer? The naive explorer of the first two seasons, or the hardened realist? The line is crossed.

In a lot of ways, I'm sick of the Trip/T'Pol pairing as it's been done to death in fan fic but on the screen they seemed, to me, to be the only Trek couple who were actually having sex as often as time, energy and duty permitted. Not that that's everything, of course, but it was very real. This is what real adult couples do, particularly people pushed to the brink in a lot of ways. Why wouldn't they seek comfort and escape and release with each other?

T'Pol as an addict. Holy cow! This is not a little drinking, hey, let's see Scotty get sloshed. This is out and out physical addiction to trellium.

They've got roommates! Unless you're a muckety-muck, you room with someone (Daniels certainly did). And all that that implies, in terms of people bickering and sometimes being completely unable to find privacy, whether it's for the purposes of being with a date or just getting some peace and quiet. The Catwalk spelled that all out times a thousand.

Lots of other stuff, much of which has already been mentioned. But these are people who seem very much like us. The chemistry isn't always there, or it's uneven. The tech doesn't always work. The home and the office (and the ship is both) leave a lot to be desired in terms of space, comfort level, etc.
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Old February 11 2012, 11:20 PM   #15
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Re: Why I Love Enterprise

Jolene Blalock (T'Pol)
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